So this is a frustrating, mystifying situation to me. We are military, living in South Korea. I stay home with my 3 yo son, who I am still nursing. We live on the side of a mountain, kind of far from everything and it has been very isolating. The other mothers at the nearby base are more "conventional" and give me "looks" if they've seen us nursing, so I don't have a lot of connections there. I have two AP friends, but we have to drive 45 min to see one and an hour and 20 to see the other, so we don't see them too often, just a few times a month. We have a year left here. I've been dreading it, hunkering down for this coming winter, until a new family moved to our little neighborhood. They have 3 boys they are homeschooling, ages 5, 7, and 11. I have tons and tons to talk about with the mom, and my son has never looked happier than when he is playing with her boys. We've had them over twice, been to their house a twice, to the playground and out to eat, and they saw us nurse every time, and never said anything. Until two days ago, at my house, my son popped off to ask me a question and for that instant my boob was "out". The mom called me when they got home to ask that in the future I give her a heads up when we are going to nurse, so she can take her boys to another room. She was trying to be super nice and apologetic about it. I offered to do a better job staying covered, which I'm admittedly not as concerned with in my house and I thought it wasn't an issue, but no, she just wants to take her 3 kids into some other room whenever my son needs to nurse, because she doesn't want them seeing "that" "until they are ready." She nursed her kids, but hid her own nursing breasts from her own children under a cover.
I am a bit dumbfounded and depressed. I find it hard to imagine anyone who has nursed their children STILL believing that breasts are sex toys for men, unfit to be seen by innocent eyes. And how much more will it attract their attention than when it is painted red with "forbidden"? Her boys barely noticed. I am not famously endowed with Dolly Parton boobs. I have almost 40 year-old tired out, half empty milk bags that just about couldn't be less sexy. Now everything would slam to a stop each time my son asks to nurse, and what kind of message does it send to my son when everyone leaves the room? That he is doing something wrong and indecent?
I hate to let them go though. I have enjoyed getting to know them. The boys are GREAT boys, my son completely adores them, and it has been so awesome having adult conversation several times a week instead of several times a month. I was actually feeling like this last year of exile might not be so bad. And now here I am, painted the creepy crunchy mom. I want to tell her I am not feeding my son with dildos attached to my chest, that breasts are made for feeding children, nothing else- we are MAMMALS after all. But I mean, if breastfeeding her oldest didn't teach her the true purpose of boobs, what will? How do I go forward becoming friends, while there is this judgement in the air, that what I am doing is unfit to be seen by her children? She even said that if she had girls, it would be different. How? Does she think her own sons are inborn perverts? I told her that breasts are not sexualized in most cultures and that since they don't watch TV her boys probably don't see them that way, but she didn't buy it. And since she nursed under a cover in front of them, they probably already have the idea that these things have lasers and are dangerous. Maybe that's what I should tell my son? Our friend thinks boobies have lasers that can hurt her kids eyes...?